MinnKota Auto-Pilot problem

Discussion in 'Boat Repair Help' started by Mac-b, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,809
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Several times that I have gone drifting lately using my Auto-Pilot it appears that it has a mind of it's own. It will either turn left or right without me touching the controls when it is on Auto-Pilot. I have checked and cleaned all electrical connections and it appears that the batteries are okay.

    Someone told me that the compass might be out of alignment and that there is a way to adjust it. Anybody available to offer me some instruction as to how to correct this without taking it to the Minn Kota service center and spending $100. Thanks, Mac
     
  2. BAM

    BAM New Member

    Messages:
    827
    State:
    Tennessee
    Mac, If the motor is a 24 volt, check the voltage at the plug or as close as you can get to the motor. In the past when mine would do what you described, I would find a bad connection somewhere. If the compass or board is going out or the coil cord that feeds the head, it's not to complicated to replace. Parts can be ordered direct from minnkota. In the past there service dept. has been easy to work with, putting a tech on the line to tell you how to diagnose the problem etc. Try checking the voltage with the motor on too. Hope this helps.
     

  3. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    one other thing is that the motor should be pretty much perpendicular to the water surface. If it is tilted much, it can affect the compass.
     
  4. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    As both posted above.
    My older one did this it was always a connection or a bad battery.
    Now if the motor is not level setting on the boat in the water, Not on the trailer. It will also hunt. It can only be so far out of level and work. Mine when I first got one of them in 2002 I had to re-level mine in the water. And from then on. It was great. Unless I had a bad connection or batter.
    Take a 2ft level with you and use it in the water and mark where the bubble is then set the boat back to that on the trailer. Then level the motor to that .
    Good luck
    Pete
     
  5. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,809
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    You guys are good. It dawned on me reading about the level situation that I did not have any problems until I took my bait tank out of the front of the boat several weeks ago. A forty gallon tank would make a big difference in the weigh in the front of the boat. I will check out the level thing with the tank (full) in the boat and without it. Thanks, Mac
     
  6. ShilohRed

    ShilohRed New Member

    Messages:
    4,339
    State:
    West Tn
    Mac make you some shims for when the bait tank is not in the boat. And I bet your back up and running.
    Pete
     
  7. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,809
    State:
    North Caro
    Name:
    Mac
    Pete, it was out of level, so I loosen the nuts, got me a shimmy, placed the level on the slid on bracket and the bubble was between the lines. Left my dock using the trolling motor and went out in the cove for a test run. Wind was blowing at 8 to 10 MPH so I headed into the wind on Auto Pilot @ 1+ MPH and ran this way for 15 minutes and it held it's course. Then I over road the Auto Pilot with my manuel control and turned it to head back to my dock with the wind, adjusted the speed dial due to the tail wind, and just a few moments later it starts to hunt/wander around. When it was pulling at level 4 on the speed gauge it did fine, but when I turned the speed gauge down to 2 is when the problem started. I will next get my son in-law to check the voltage and flow tomorrow.

    Any more suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  8. glen1234

    glen1234 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    sk
    I had the problem with my autopilot where it would randomly start turning in circles. Here is what I did to solve the problem. At first I adjusted to ensure the trolling motor was level, but this did not make any difference in my case. There is a procedure for calibrating the board at http://www.konett.com/Minn Kota/Minn Kota Service Information 2004P/RepairManual/Repair Manual.pdf. The part pertaining to the autopilot board starts on page 4-11. When I tried to do the adjustments listed in the procedure I found that I could adjust one of the voltages to 1V as shown but the other one would not adjust below about 3V. After doing some troubleshooting I determined that one of the LED's in the compass assembly was burnt out. Minn Kota will not tell you any part numbers give or any information on them, but they are infared LED's and can be obtained from any electronics store. After changing out the defective LED, the board works fine.